It was my first time at Sneaker Pawn in Harlem, an exclusive spot that’s more than just a sneaker store. I climbed the steps to the brownstone and met rapper Trip Lee upstairs where we took a seat on a bench surrounded by sneakers and sports gear. What a great setting to just kick it! We chopped it up discussing his new album Rise, the journey that led him to choosing his passion of music and much more!


Growing up in Sacramento, Victoria Monét started writing her own songs at a very young age. She comes from a musical family, so one might say that she was born to be a singer. Monét admits that it was a natural fit for her and she’s been singing and dancing for as long as she can remember; getting her start in the church.  She's come along way, now signed to Atlantic Records.  October was a big month for her as she was featured on two tracks on T.I.'s latest album, Paperwork.  She also made her iTunes debut with her own release, Nightmares & Lullabies Act I.  She is more than just another female singer that will be here today and gone tomorrow, Victoria Monét has all the makings of the real deal.  We caught up with her for the full story, before the breakthrough.


Joe Budden was never supposed to make it this far. Whether it was from the drugs or the streets, he probably should've been down and out somewhere. Once the music industry took hold of him that was only supposed to be one more powerful force that would eat away at him and leave for dead. And Def Jam surely tried. Looking back at where he started, it’s a wonder that he's still here. Had it been today's industry, he probably would've succumbed to the politics, but thankfully he's been in it since 2003. Hip-Hop aficionados are grateful for his time in the spotlight and for his Mood Music lyrical diary entries as well as his “emo” rap forays.


Lil’ Mo
emerged on the music scene in the late 90’s lending her voice to hits like, “Hot Boyz” by Missy Elliott, “Put It On Me” and “I Cry” both by Ja Rule. Still it was her breakout single, the 2001 “Superwoman pt. II” that helped solidify her name is music circles. The Fabolous assisted song led to the release of her debut album, Based On A True Story, garnering her tons of fans. With her success came the drama however, including an incident in San Francisco where she was attacked with a bottle of champagne and required 20 stitches. There also came industry beefs with some of the same people she found early success with, most notably Ja Rule.


If you know football, you know Deion Sanders. Primetime! Mr. “Must Be The Money.” Neon Deion. The Hall-of-Famer and two-time Super Bowl champion hasn’t really needed an introduction since his meteoric rise in the NFL spotlight, but these days it’s his moves off the field that require conversation. The second season of his reality show, Deion’s Family Playbook premieres on OWN Network on Saturday, November 1st at 9p.m. EST. For those that aren’t familiar, the show features Deion in a light that many might not be familiar with—Deion as a family man raising 10 children. That’s not all however, as Deion also helps run a charter school in Dallas Texas, Prime Prep Academy for grades K-12, and a nonprofit organization, Prime Time Association (aka TRUTH), which teaches young adults through sports and education.


Jagged Edge's eight album, JE Heartbreak II finds the quartet reunited with producer Jermaine Dupri, label So So Def and their original management Mauldin Brand Agency. The theme here is all about bringing back true R&B, so the guys shy away from Rap features or features of any kind, as well as Hip-Hop infused beats. Slow jams are plentiful in this 12 song album and with Bryan Michael Cox assisting the Casey twins on songwriting and production, its very much reminiscent to the sound of early Jagged Edge albums.



 
 

 

 

You could listen to his music, say its different, and mean it. You wont have any apprehensions about that assessment. It’s something about how he marries singing to rapping in a way that makes you think the two were made for each other. The fact that he is from Texas, (Hearne and Calvert to be exact) makes the southern twinge on his eloquent voice that much more out of the “box” the game seems to have itself in today. “I Look Good,” a single off of his I’m Here mixtape has swung his name from streets of Texas to now around the world, preparing all of us for something truly unique. Chalie Boy, 30, isn’t just a rapper, or a singer, but he is definitely a star on the rise. Take a look through Parle's telescope...

Parlé: I know you repping Texas, what part are you from?
Chalie Boy: Hearne and Calvert, Texas. Its in the center of Texas, 3 hrs. From Houston, 3 from San Antonio, and 2 from Austin.

Parlé: What was your upbringing like?
Chalie Boy: Regular normal upbringing. I grew up in a rural area. I'm not from the city, but I grew up listening to all types of music and sang in a choir. My moms, helped me from the beginning, and told me a lot of things. She told me to stick to myself and be humble. She taught me about having understanding. With some of those lessons I learned in the industry everything isn't always what its seems.

Parlé: Did you always want to be in music, or did you have other aspirations?
Chalie Boy: I was too short to play ball, 5'5". I was into football, always had the ideas of what I wanted to do in life. I thought I'd have a chance to do something in music, it was a dream but it wasn't a hundred percent. I knew I could sing, but didn't force it.

Parlé: Who were some of your influences?
Chalie Boy: B.B. King, Bun B, T.I., Busta, Gerald Levert, Bebe and Cece Winans. My inspiration comes from all types of music, they like that churchy sound. That's why people say its so soulful when they hear my music. I could rap about being fly, gangsta, living good, living it up. In the music of entertainment, I speak on what I see and it comes out how I feel it.

Parlé: How did your parents take it when you told them you were doing music?
Chalie Boy: They were all for it. My moms didn't understand being a rapper, but she gave me the positive and negatives for it. My father just told me to be the best at whatever.

Parlé: So how did you get into recording music?
Chalie Boy: You know how people might be joking with their friends at high school, doing lame freestylin' in the house. I seriously tried to put the music down when I met DJ Bull, CEO of Dirty 3rd Records in 2000. He asked me if I wanted to jump on a mixtape, and I gave it a go. Then he asked if I wanted to get on more freestyles.

Parlé: How many mixtapes would you say you've done so far, in your 10 years in the game?
Chalie Boy: Probably around 500 mixtapes, within Dirty 3rd records and features altogether, 500.

Parlé: Really?
Chalie Boy: Yeah.

Parlé: As far as rapping goes, was it what you expected when you got your first taste of it?
Chalie Boy: Wasn't what I expected 'cause I was rapping. I was literally a rookie when it came to rapping. I aint know how people would gravitate to it. People would listen to it and wanted to hear my verses. The fiirst year, I aint even tell 'em that it was me...if they aint like something on it, then I'd try to work on it. But regardless of what you can't just whoop everyone ass. You deal with getting talked about; everyone aint gonna like it.

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